Eldon Alson Hunt (1911 - 2009)

Eldon Hunt

Eldon was born in Bakersfield, California on May 21, 1911. He passed away on January 13, 2009 in Porterville, California, at the age of 97.

He graduated in the last 8th grade class at Vandalia in 1925. He graduated from Whittier High School in 1929. He had a touch of history at Whittier by competing with Richard Nixon in a speech contest. Nixon won the contest and he placed second. He graduated from Porterville College in 1935 and went on to attend Chico State College on a $100 Bartlett Scholarship. He graduated from Chico State in 1938.

He began his teaching career in Siskiyou County in one and two room schools. While attending summer school in 1941, he met his wife Zerita and after a 4 week courtship married in Reno, NV. They settled in Grenada, CA.

In 1943, he entered the Army and served 2 years in France and Germany as a Station Agent in the 723rd Railroad Operating Battalion.

After the war, he continued his teaching career in the Porterville Elementary School District. He retired as principal of Vandalia School in 1971. During the time between 1971 and 1983, he and Zerita traveled extensively through the USA, Canada and Europe.

In 1979, Eldon joined the staff of the Porterville Historical Museum as a volunteer. After 24 years service, he retired in 2003 at the age of 92.

Eldon was instrumental in the startup of the Barn Theater in the summer of 1948. He continued to entertain over the next 40 years acting in 64 plays. He received 20 Hosscars over that period of time. He has been called “Mr. Barn Theater.”

He is survived by his wife, Zerita; son Edward Hunt of Porterville; 3 daughters Geraldine Farrell of Oregon House, CA, Eldeen (Deenie) Campbell of Porterville and Kathleen Sawyer of Fresno; 9 grandchildren, Deborah Derschan of Sandy Valley, NV, Douglas Hunt of Tulare, Pamela Sheldon, Patricia Bradley and Heidi Lawrence of Porterville, Erika Oliveira of Lemoore, Daryl Sawyer and Justin Sawyer of Fresno and Laura Jones of San Diego; 14 great grandchildren, Adam and Brian Dreschan of Las Vegas, NV, Dustin Sheldon, Dylan and Darcylin Jones of Porterville, Bethany and Richard Lawrence of Portervile, Katie and Sarah Hunt of Tulare, Beau, Luke and Madelyn Oliveira of Lemoore and Donovan and Rhiannon Jones of San Diego; and 2 great-great grandchildren, Addison and Evan Derschan of Las Vegas, NV.

He had requested no services. Memorial donations may be given to the Porterville Historical Museum, Barn Theater or Optimal Hospice Care of Porterville.

Condolences may be sent to the family at www.myersfuneral.com. Myers Funeral Svc. & Crematory in Porterville is in charge of arrangements.

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